The Central Bank of Nigeria Digital Currency (CBDC) wallet app will be updated to allow users to pay for utilities such as pay TV and top up airtime. Adding Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) functionality to wallet applications means that the unbanked will be able to make payments using CBDC.
The wallet app for Nigeria’s central bank digital currency e-naira will be updated and users will be able to pay for regular utilities such as pay-TV and airtime top-ups, an official from Nigeria’s central bank reportedly said.
According to Nairametrics Report Citing official Yusuf Abdul Jelil, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will initiate the upgrade process by sending a message to users asking them to update the wallet app. Jelil, who has been appointed as CBN’s e-naira representative, made the remarks while attending the event at Kairo Market in Oshodi, Lagos.
“Anytime there will be an update from now on, you will receive a message on your app instructing you to update your eNaira Speed Wallet. Once you update, those services you have requested will be there and you can Pay for DSTV there, buy top-up cards, pay for tickets, etc.,” the CBN representative said.
Meanwhile, Jelil was cited in the report, revealing how CBN’s plan to add USSD functionality to the wallet opens the door for non-account holders to use CBDC. According to one financial expert, bloggerUSSD may be the best available technology for providing mobile financial services to low-income customers.
Despite CBN’s initial claim that e-naira would benefit the financially excluded, the central bank’s CBDC does not come with USSD capabilities. The absence of USSD functionality means that e-naira is being used by those who already have access to financial services. However, by adding USSD code 997, CBN makes CBDC accessible to those without a bank account.
Meanwhile, Oshodi Market Union’s secretary, Obinna Umeh, was quoted in the report as praising the central bank’s decision to notify Nigerians of the upcoming update. Before Jelil’s latest communication, traders had been inundated with fake wallet app alerts, he said.
“The timing of CBN’s coming to educate us on e-Naira couldn’t have been better; there’s hardly a day when we don’t have to resolve disputes about false alarms and we can lead to something more productive,” Umeh is quoted as explaining.
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